The Radical Future Of Commercial Real Estate? Use Less Space.

The Radical Future Of Commercial Real Estate? Use Less Space.

Yes, Use Less Space.

It makes too much sense. Yes it does.

What really is the core of your business?

What are you really selling? Is it just space? It is just plain space. Open empty space with lights and outlets and windows.

Ok, I will give the retail people some credit. There is the “experience” thing you have going for you.

A simple scenario.

A “tech” company (and aren’t they all now) in a major city is looking for space, let’s say 5-10k square feet.

What’s your pitch? You know what it is. Yes yes yes I am skipping the relationship building blah blah blah part to make a point.

Your pitch is :

Let’s tour 10 spaces within that range and pick one out that is the coolest thing ever with an eye on expansion when you grow.


I mean come on that’s bread and butter commercial real estate.

You have kids to feed colleges to support and__________;)

But wait a minute.

What if ?

What if your pitch was to “Use Less”?

What if you explained to them that using less space was a better business decision for them?

What if you told them that it was the responsible thing to do?

What if you told them they would use less resources?




What if you told them to think of commercial real estate the same way they think of other business resources?

What if your corporate goal and or mission statement became “we are commercial real estate, please use less of it.”

What if you could do more for your clients while reducing the impact of commercial real estate use?

What if you could reduce your cost of doing business?

What if by doing this you actually created more value for commercial real estate?

What if people did use less commercial real estate?

How are you going to ever make any money?

Think about it.

More quality space available means more value for the useable space.

Let’s think for a minute, what if you tried this on one set of buildings in your portfolio.

How would they compete against the buildings you don’t position this way?

What do you think the outcome would be?

What about the perception of the actual buildings themselves?

How about the perception of your company in your marketplace?

How about the perception of you in the eyes of the marketplace?

How about the perception of your competitors?

How about the most important one of them all?

Your clients!

The Radical Future Of Commercial Real Estate? Use Less Space. 





photo credit: <a href=””>djwudi</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>


Duke Long


  • I LOVE it!…and here us why. We are in an “owner’s market in SoCal…the user demand has out stripped supply. If we can craft a way to fit a requirement into a SMALLER space…we potentially open a wider range of space alternatives. BRILLIANT!

    Hope you are well. Let’s talk next week?



  • Wow, I’m surprised that many are finding this a radical concept. It’s been the whole premise behind the decade long workplace strategies concepts. Seats aligned with purpose (some larger, some smaller, all more specialized) used more efficiently leads to less space, greater employee engagement, higher productivity and generally lower costs.

    Maybe the difference is you are taking it to the owner side of the world where their whole goal is to lease the highest total % of space they can. The best way to do that is to diversify the number of tenants, leases and types of occupants (much like any good stock/investment portfolio). Too few tenants occupying too much space opens it up for risk. To many tenants occupying too little space creates inefficient leased blocks/higher management costs.

    The goal should never be to maximize today’s deal, but always to maximize the overall net effect of all deals (whether on the owner or occupier side of the world).